3/28/11. Les Bernal. Return interview with Les Bernal, Exective Director of the national anti-gambling organization Stop Predatory Gambling. (Previous interview on 6/28/10.) He discussed the case of Arelia Taveras, a successful lawyer, from immigrant Dominican background, who became addicted to casino gambling in Atlantic City. The casino owners encouraged and enabled her addiction. She lost a huge amount of money and eventually turned to embezzlement to fund her gambling habit, and is now serving a term in prison.
Les Bernal emphasized that rather than protecting our citizens from the predatory practices of the gambling industries, our own state government (along with many others) is encouraging and advertising gambling, âpushingâ gambling, as it depends more and more on gambling revenues to close budget deficits. Government decision-makers do not acknowledge that gambling actually depletes the wealth of our own citizens, making them poorer, and reducing their capacity provide other resources to support the economy and the needs of government.